The Live In America tour stopped at Hard Rock Live in Orlando, FL, marking the first sold out show of the tour.
When pop punk legends Neck Deep release a new album and announce a headliner to promote it, you know you’re in for one hell of a time. Rightfully so, you can also expect a stacked opening lineup, and that’s exactly what they gave us. From the melodic grunge of Higher Power, to the upbeat singalong anthems of Bearings, to Drain’s heavy breakdowns, fans were treated to a top notch night of music spanning the spectrum of the punk sound.
Although Higher Power experienced audio issues throughout their opening set, their relentless energy and passion still broke through to the crowd, inspiring a single crowd surfer in their final song. Offering a break between heavy sets, Canadian band Bearings turned the mosh pit into a dance circle with their catchy choruses. Diving back into a heavier sound, Drain stormed the stage, bringing a riotous energy with them. There was not a single moment without a huge pit going in the center of the crowd, from the second the band stepped on stage right until the very end of their set. Drain's set was a sonic assault that left a lasting impression on everyone in the audience.
All of this was the perfect build up to Neck Deep’s more than memorable set. Florida holds a special place in the band’s history, between playing two shows that led to a record deal and recording an album right here in Orlando, and tonight, the first sold out show of tour, added even more to that rich history.
For the fans, the memorability could be attributed to the impressive stage setup and dynamic lighting, a setlist that displayed Neck Deep’s full discography, and, of course, the expert musicianship and playful comradery of the band. Neck Deep delivered hit after hit, taking fans on a musical and emotional journey through their catalog going all the way back to "Losing Teeth" off of Wishful Thinking.
Certainly, it wouldn’t be punk if it weren’t political, and vocalist Ben Barlow made no hesitation to criticize the US and UK governments and vocalize support for a free Palestine as he led into the call-to-arms song "We Need More Bricks" off their recently released self-titled album.
Other highlights from the night include a "girl pit" during "She's A God," Barlow stagediving into the crowd during "STFU," and the tour debut of fan favorite "Kali Ma." Through and through, Neck Deep’s set was anything a fan could want and more, and it was nothing short of impressive.